June 14, 2013
since the continuing drought we all know that St. Augustine
grass, the preferred lawn of community associations, is just a
water-guzzler. And the Florida legislature reacted in 2009, when it added paragraph (4) to FS
clauses in association documents).
Together with FS
Florida-friendly landscaping ordinances)
these provisions in the statutes make it abundantly clear that
owners have the right to implement Florida-friendly landscaping
– no matter what the governing documents of the association
say. But boards try to impose rules making it very difficult for
owners to switch to Florida–friendly landscaping. And despite
some boards claiming otherwise, it really doesn’t matter when
the association was created – or when the documents were
recorded. This law is valid for all homeowners’ associations
– old and new!
Looking at the many lawsuits
that popped up over the last few years when association boards
tried to prevent homeowners from switching from St. Augustine
grass to FFL, it’s pretty obvious that judges follow the new
laws and side with the homeowners.
But boards try it over and
over again, most likely figuring that it’s only association money they are wasting.
These are the kind of
headlines we find only all too often in the media:
the list goes on!
In 2010 the fight over Florida-friendly landscaping reached its
peak. Association boards were testing the new laws. Florida's
media was filled with reports over fights between
associations and owners trying to implement Florida-friendly
landscaping. At that time I wrote this editorial:
BOARDS STILL WASTE MONEY IN LEGAL FEES!
do you think that HOA boards have learned in the meanwhile that
there are laws in place courts are enforcing in regards to
can tell you: Definitely not! The fights continue and keep
attorneys and courts busy.
so difficult to understand? Florida
has a water shortage and laws were enacted that should help to
preserve our most
precious commodity: WATER!